|Burt Lancaster||J.J. Hunsecker|
|Tony Curtis||Sidney Falco|
|Marty Milner||Steve Dallas|
|Susan Harrison||Susan Hunsecker|
|Sam Levene||Frank D' Angelo|
New York City newspaper writer J.J. Hunsecker holds considerable sway over public opinion with his Broadway column, but one thing that he can't control is his younger sister, Susan, who is in a relationship with aspiring jazz guitarist Steve Dallas . Hunsecker strongly disproves of the romance and recruits publicist Sidney Falco to find a way to split the couple, no matter how ruthless the method.